Behind Us Forever: The Kid Is All Right

Chalkboard - The Kid's All Right

“Worked for the Carter Administration?” – Marge Simpson
“Well, you voted for him, twice.” – Lisa Simpson
“Lisa, shh, someone might be listening.” – Marge Simpson

It’s never been all that hard to poke fun at Republicans and Democrats, but doing so would require Zombie Simpsons to make some jokes instead of spending all their time expositing an inane and nonsensical story.  And when I say inane, I mean in-fucking-ane.  Lisa meets the new kid in her class outside of class, for some reason, they do a project on FDR together without, it seems, ever talking to one another about the subject, and all that’s before Burns and a real life vampire get involved.  Oddly enough, the episode did have a singular bright spot, a Simpsonization of an eighty-year-old Disney cartoon called “Silly Symphony: Music Land” where people are musical instruments and there is great conflict between different genres.  Burns tries to stop Lisa from playing jazz, which is made retroactively funnier as the actual episode involves Burns trying to rig a second grade election for some reason.

– I know it’s just them redoing an old Disney cartoon, but the opening was entertaining.  It’s not quite “The Longest Daycare”, but it’s pretty cool.  They really are at their best when they don’t have to write dialogue.

– For further evidence, see Lisa singing a song for the first minute of the episode.

– Another case in point, why did they have Bart say “And the best part is, I’m bombarding her with her own homework”?  You could’ve just showed that to us.

– I’m not going to transcribe the whole episode or anything, but they are seriously bad at this:

Lisa: “That’s a reference to the Bronte sisters!”
Isabel: “You got my reference to the Bronte sisters?”

We just saw that, less than two seconds ago!  Please to not be explaining everything as it happens.

– Oh, hello there, silent Mr. Bergstrom fan-service.

– I guess it’s nice that they bothered to include a conflict in this plot, but when they do things like have Lisa not realize this girl’s politics until they’re both on stage together it sucks the life so completely out of this that I’m not even sure why they bothered.  (And, as if on cue, Skinner walks on to tell us what we just saw again.)

– This 1980s party in the attic is almost existentially sad.  Remember cassettes and VHS?  Remember?  We said remember, damn it!

– Republican Headquarters keeps getting less inventive and fun.

– Why, Nelson, so kind of you to appear out of nowhere and then disappear again.

– There are a lot of things wrong with this ice cream parlor scene, but having the squeaky voiced teen first remove the wheelbarrow of ice cream and then drive another giant thing of ice cream into the scene thirty seconds later is illustrative of them all.  It makes no sense, is all exposition, and indicates that they, once again, seem to think things that just happened have no bearing on what’s about to happen.

– Uh, what was with Pig Pen from Peanuts showing up and then disappearing?

– Lisa is smacking, punching and kicking Bart.  I don’t even know what to file that under.

– That scene with Lisa pretending to be drunk was so good they repeated it with Bart.

– I could say something about the empty-headed time wasting that was Lisa’s “liberal” speech, but Harold Ramis said it better.

– This scene with Clinton and the Democratic losers sure takes a long time.

– And a pointless flash forward ends with a call back to the musical opening.  That on repeat ten times would’ve been a lot more fun than this episode, and it even has a better Burns plot.

Anyway, the ratings are in and they remain embarrassingly bad.  Just 6.65 million people were glad this isn’t an election year last night.  That’s the highest all season; in fact, it’s the highest since last January.  But it was with a football overrun, will probably come down when the final numbers are released, and is well below what the show was averaging just three seasons ago.  That’s as good as they can do these days, and it’d be historically bad if it weren’t for all the other historically bad numbers they’ve been putting up the last couple of years.

8 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: The Kid Is All Right”

  1. 1 Stan
    25 November 2013 at 7:03 pm

    3 times in a row with Lisa episodes already… From what I understand reading your posts they somehow still manage not to overlap the same ideas episode from episode: Lisa creates an honor code, Lisa manages cheerleaders, Lisa runs for whatever position she runs for… Argh I’m sure glad to not only be excluded from the ratings you quote, but to purposely have no fucking idea about these episodes. Never watched it and glad of it!

    P.S. Your Bart should really get a longer chalkboard =)

  2. 2 FireFlower
    25 November 2013 at 7:14 pm

    The couch gag was the best part of the episode…even if though it was LONG.

    I don’t watch an animated show to have boring one-sided politics shoved down my throat!

  3. 3 Joe H
    25 November 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Heh, yeah Burns was certainly more Burns-like during the musical short. Also, the title of the old Disney short is just “Music Land.” Silly Symphony is just the series title, like the Merrie Melodies series in the old WB cartoons.

    I completely forgot about that long ’80s attic sequence. Pointless indeed. Though it had that needlessly cruel scene in which not only Homer choke Bart like he always does, it goes so far as to show Bart passing out. That was hardly necessary. Kinda looked like Homer killed Bart, with Homer shouting at (and still strangling) his recently deceased corpse while Marge and Lisa blankly watch and mindlessly disregard seconds later.

    That whole FDR speech reveal really made no sense, I could believe that Isabel could have stealthily changed it at the last minute, though even if that were the case you’d assume Lisa and Isabel would have made their politics known over the phone, while texting, etc while Lisa was helping with the project.

    However, it seems that Isabel already knew Lisa was her polar opposite politically beforehand and was apparently nonplussed by it–she didn’t seem shocked to learn that Lisa was a liberal as opposed to Lisa’s reaction. Was this rivalry entirely perpetuated by Lisa’s unwillingness to accept Isabel’s politics, or was Isabel really a sly backbiter who purposely undercut Lisa’s speech out of sheer petty selfishness? Who knows?

    That “liberal” speech was indeed surprisingly empty, especially considering Lisa wrote it. Isabel really didn’t need Burns or Republican Headquarters to win this one (honestly at any rate).

  4. 4 FireFlower
    25 November 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Yes the attic scene was pointless…and creepy. Homer choking out Bart was terrible even by Jerkass Homer standards.

  5. 5 RaikoLives
    25 November 2013 at 11:19 pm

    So the little girl with the brilliant gift for speech writing and speech giving from “Mr Lisa Goes to Washington” wrote a bland, awful and pointless speech? I used to think that the people writing the show had at least WATCHED the older stuff. Maybe they’re hiring Mongolian sheep herders who’ve never seen the show to ghost write for them. Sorry to any Mongolian Sheep Herders out there.

    • 6 Stan
      26 November 2013 at 12:22 am

      Mongolian sheep herders are too busy taking care of their penisfeet than to write for these folks. I’d say they are deliberately in-breeding their monkeys for faster typewriting.

  6. 26 November 2013 at 10:05 am

    I actually did manage to watch this one. How exactly would Marge have voted for Reagan in ’84. By the show’s logic today, wouldn’t she have been about 8?

    And the Maggie bartender bit was stupid and made no sense…so of course they repeated it.

  7. 8 FireFlower
    26 November 2013 at 11:57 am

    If you are going by the show’s REAL backstory Marge would have had two kids by ’84. Of course the show does care about continuity. Last season we learned that Grampa was a wrestler AND then a songwriter with a black wife!

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